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A response to the ‘Washington Post’ blogger who calls me an anti-Semite

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on 102 Comments

Today in the Washington Post, David Bernstein accuses me of anti-Semitism for a post I did last week titled “Forgiving the Anti-Semites” in which I related several incidents over Passover that touched on issues of Jewish power and victimization. The heart of that post was a friend saying that Israel would not cease to abuse Palestinians until Jews forgave the anti-Semites the atrocities committed against Jews in Europe in the last century. Bernstein says that the piece was passed on to him by a Jewish friend who wrote, “Who thinks like this?” then he calls Mondoweiss a hate site and says that my hatred of Israel blurs into hatred of Jews.

I urge folks to read my original piece, here. I like it, I’m proud of it. And here’s why.

The thrust of the piece is that Jews have to live here now, in an America where we have considerable power. This is the issue Bernstein completely avoids: the remarkable rise of Jews inside the U.S. establishment in the last generation. How do we deal with this? How do we reconcile ourselves to this status? Do we even acknowledge it? Or do we turn a blind eye to it because it is embarrassing or goes against our image of ourselves. Bernstein cannot acknowledge it, but he surely knows that this is a signal fact of the Jewish experience, the American rise. He offers a long meditation on the Jewish experience of persecution in Europe. No doubt– but that was the point of my piece. Dwelling in that victimization narrative is a way of avoiding dealing with who we are today; and we are by and large privileged. If there is one story that captures the Jewish experience of the last 40 years it is this: that Alan Dershowitz threatened to leave Harvard Law School in 1970 or so unless they appointed a Jewish dean. There had been none. Well they did name one, and there have been a couple since, one of whom now sits on the Supreme Court, along with two other Jews appointed by Democratic presidents. In fact the doors opened all over our society in the 70s and the 80s and the 90s; and Dershowitz became a bestselling proponent of Israel. And the Israel lobby cannot be understood outside of that sociological frame. Bill Clinton was embraced by AIPAC over George H.W. Bush in 1992 because he had Jewish friends at his wedding and p.s. he supported the settlement project. Then in the 90s Bill Kristol purged the Jim Baker “Arabists” from the Republican Party; and Bush’s son ran for president as a supporter of settlements, and got Sheldon Adelson’s money. If you don’t think that this reflects the Jewish rise into the establishment, and the importance of (Zionist) Jewish money to the political process, then you should read the Forward this week, which recognizes that the American political class has a right to discuss the rightwing Zionist influence over the Republican party, stemming from wealth.

I am proud of my Passover piece because I believe this is a great spiritual challenge to Jews: to deal with our actual status in western societies. What would the American Jewish community look like today if we moved beyond viewing ourselves as the eternal victim?

Part of that process means reckoning with our history and the degree to which we were essential to industrialization and the rise of the modern nation state. This is a theme of Yuri Slezkine’s The Jewish Century, it was at the heart of Benjamin Ginsburg’s Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State, and of Jerry Muller’s Capitalism and the Jews. And yes, part of this acknowledgment means wrestling with our role in European societies at the turn of the century, the remarkable transformation that we helped to effect as modern professionals. Bernstein leaves out my quotation of Herzl on this theme; but before the Holocaust, Jews often talked about our economic power (and privately many Jews do so now, too). One of those professionals, Franz Kafka, often wrote in his diaries and letters about our singular presence in Prague and Berlin, and in a landmark statement of self-hatred, wrote to his non-Jewish girlfriend: “At times I’d like to stuff them all, simply as Jews (me included) into, say, the drawer of the laundry chest. Next I’d wait, open the drawer a little to see if they’ve suffocated, and if not, shut the drawer again and keep doing this to the end.” That girlfriend later died in the Holocaust trying to save Jews. So did two of Kafka’s sisters; and I quote that letter not to approve it, but to point out that questions of Jewish status in the west have been deeply perplexing to Jewish writers before me; and these issues also interest me deeply; and to try and blackguard inquiry, as Bernstein does, is a form of censorship aimed at preserving the current order, notably a disastrous Middle East policy.

The adamant refusal by powerful organs such as the Washington Post to examine the Israel lobby and its roots has hurt U.S. foreign policy and undoubtedly hurt a lot of people along the way. And we need smart people to talk about this. The Best and the Brightest helped to (nonviolently) reform the last social order, the one that produced Vietnam; and the social order that produced Iraq also deserves reform. I don’t think that accounting can be done without Jewish reflection. Bernstein mocks me for saying that Brian Roberts runs the largest media company in the world and Chris Matthews works for him and praises Israel. He says that this is evidence of Protocols of the Elders of Zion-like thinking. But that’s just namecalling, aimed at stopping people from looking at actual facts in the media age. It’s like Dana Milbank saying that Walt and Mearsheimer had Teutonic names or David Remnick cracking that if we only got rid of the Israel lobby, Osama bin Laden would have gone back into the construction business. It’s not an answer. And the answer for me is not actually an assault on elites, but their reform, including an aggressive critique of Zionism inside Jewish life. Because Zionism is a discriminatory dangerous ideology, and premised on ideas of Jewish victimization that do not reflect our experience in any way.

I give Bernstein one point. I probably shouldn’t have used the $7000 a week hotel anecdote straight out of Goodbye Columbus toward the end of the piece. It was shtik-like and cartoonish, and that piece was serious business.

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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102 Responses

  1. ckg
    ckg
    May 5, 2015, 1:53 pm

    It’s interesting that Bernstein’s ‘proof’ that MW is a hate site is a MJ Rosenberg’s year-old piece, while just yesterday Rosenberg tweeted a link to the James North-Phil Weiss post at MW about Geller.

    • ckg
      ckg
      May 5, 2015, 7:47 pm

      MJR has about a half a dozen tweets commenting on Bernstein’s piece. I am not going to repeat any of them.

      • annie
        annie
        May 5, 2015, 8:38 pm

        honestly, where does he come up w/this crap about phil’s life:

        phil was born into a jewish world.

      • marc b.
        marc b.
        May 5, 2015, 9:45 pm

        NOBODY expects the Jewish Inquisition! Its chief weapon is MJ Rosenberg and an almost fanatical devotion to Zionism. Oh, bugger. Its chief weapons are MJ Rosenberg and . . .

      • marc b.
        marc b.
        May 5, 2015, 9:49 pm

        Sorry, Annie, Cardinal Rosenberg has excommunicated Weiss. He wasn’t a real Jew anyway, but a cheap knock off, apparently made in China.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 5, 2015, 10:14 pm

        “honestly, where does he come up w/this crap about phil’s life:”

        Perhaps it was inspired by “The Phils Will Fall Away”!

        Rosenberg seems to me like a doorman at a fancy apartment building, who goes on duty determined to do his best and immediately proceeds to get hopelessly stuck in his own revolving door.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 5, 2015, 10:21 pm

        “Weiss, like most at Mondo, became part of the Jewish world to attack Israel. No connection beyond that.”

        Yup, haven’t met a Zionist yet who doesn’t think there are too many Jews, and a lot of them are traitors and phonies!

      • just
        just
        May 5, 2015, 10:43 pm

        “Rosenberg seems to me like a doorman at a fancy apartment building, who goes on duty determined to do his best and immediately proceeds to get hopelessly stuck in his own revolving door.”

        Superb!

      • just
        just
        May 5, 2015, 10:54 pm

        You’re on fire, marc b.!

        Thank you for your comments.

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        May 6, 2015, 2:05 pm

        Annie,

        MJ’s is trying to say that Phil began to identify himself as Jewish so that he could have leverage/authenticity on this issue. And that Phil does not otherwise participate in Jewish life.

        Its kind of weak but that is what he means.

      • Kris
        Kris
        May 6, 2015, 2:49 pm

        @tokyobk: “MJ’s is trying to say that Phil began to identify himself as Jewish so that he could have leverage/authenticity on this issue. And that Phil does not otherwise participate in Jewish life.”

        I wonder why MJR says that Phil has no connection to “the Jewish world” other than attacking Israel. Is the “Jewish world” now restricted to Zionism and its golden calf, Israel?

        The problem may be that Phil is sticking with the old idea of “the Jewish world,” in which Jews thought God required them “To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 6, 2015, 3:00 pm

        || tokyobk: Annie, MJ’s is trying to say that Phil began to identify himself as Jewish so that he could have leverage/authenticity on this issue. ||

        I suspect there are people who identified as Jews in order to have pro-Israel leverage/authenticity on this issue. Has MJR railed against them, too, or does he only despise Jews who don’t act the way he thinks they should?

        || Kris: I wonder why MJR says that Phil has no connection to “the Jewish world” other than attacking Israel. Is the “Jewish world” now restricted to Zionism and its golden calf, Israel? ||

        Good question. And is MJR now the official authority on what constitutes “Jewish” (and connections thereto)? Or is he just one of a panel of “experts” on the matter?

      • ckg
        ckg
        May 6, 2015, 9:37 pm

        I’m just a little confused. If you google MJ Rosenberg anti-Semitism, you will see a roughly equal number of links where he is accused and where he is accusing others. What a world.

      • just
        just
        May 6, 2015, 9:53 pm

        All I can figure is that he was late to the party of clarity and remains resentful of those brave and prescient enough to declare their independence from the deadly rigamarole and folderol of Zionism.

        jmo, ckg.

      • ckg
        ckg
        May 6, 2015, 10:34 pm

        just, and that would include Max, whom he singles out. Max has many, many more twitter followers than he does. He is in eclipse.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 9, 2015, 12:11 pm

        “All I can figure is that he was late to the party of clarity and remains resentful of those brave and prescient enough to declare their independence from the deadly rigamarole and folderol of Zionism”

        You never know. MJRosenberg may be locked in a ‘battle of wills’. All kinds of advances, and strategic retreats and last redoubts in one of that kind conflicts!

      • talknic
        talknic
        December 21, 2015, 9:00 pm

        “… like most at Mondo, became part of the Jewish world to attack Israel. No connection beyond that”

        I understand. Jewish babies make their mothers get pregnant with them so they can attack Israel. It makes so much sense in Zioland

  2. ckg
    ckg
    May 5, 2015, 2:53 pm

    The Washington Post has Jennifer Rubin, Richard Cohen, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, David Bernstein, and Eugene Volokh. I am not sure why Sheldon Adelson once thougth he should buy the Post–they’re doing his work for free.

  3. just
    just
    May 5, 2015, 3:33 pm

    You should be proud of that piece, Phil. I don’t know how many ‘hits’ it got, but there are 345 comments. It generated discussion and provoked thought. As we all know and you say, we need more not less:

    “The adamant refusal by powerful organs such as the Washington Post to examine the Israel lobby and its roots has hurt U.S. foreign policy and undoubtedly hurt a lot of people along the way. And we need smart people to talk about this.”

    You should be proud of this piece, too. MW truly is “The War of Ideas in the Middle East”. Instead of climbing aboard and engaging in the discussion, they prefer to hit you with the boom/oar. It’s a testament to the success of MW, albeit unpleasant coming from cowards who don’t even bother commenting here.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 5, 2015, 7:37 pm

      “It generated discussion and provoked thought.”

      I saw the piece as an ink-blot, but others saw it as some sort of smear.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 5, 2015, 8:15 pm

        “But you are not going to be able to write one of the most anti-Jewish sites on the web and not be thought of as an anti-Semite”

        Wow, it’s ironic, isn’t it, “JeffyB”? Millions, millions of freakin’ websites on the web, and Phil Weiss had to choose this one to write at. You would think Phil would have checked it out, maybe Googled the editor, before he decided to associate himself with it.
        Ah, but what’s done is done, and we can only look to the future. So, when Phil wises up, and leaves this “most anti-Jewish sites on the web” please, tell us, “JeffB” which websites Phil should publish at to gain more credibility? Please, let us know.

        Sorry, bad nesting, should have gone below “JeffyB’s” advice.

  4. JeffB
    JeffB
    May 5, 2015, 3:59 pm

    @Phil

    It is a good piece. You are a good writer.

    But you are not going to be able to write one of the most anti-Jewish sites on the web and not be thought of as an anti-Semite. Just to pick the recent example. You don’t like Pamela Geller. Pamela Geller in her most racist diatribe doesn’t advocate doing to Muslim countries what you want to do the Jewish ons. You believe that Pamela Geller is being racist when she incites Muslims and yet you work hard to make sure Jews are incited against on college campuses. I don’t understand how you can quite literally have posts next to each other about Islamaphobia while inciting against Jews. Muslims are vastly vastly more powerful on a global scale than Jews, so it ain’t a power thing. You get grouped with her. You don’t want to get grouped with her stop running an anti-Jewish site.

    The issue with anti-semitism is not that you talk about the Zionist lobby or that you want to talk about how Jews handle power or you want to critique Israeli minority policy or… It is that you consistently hold Jews to entirely different standards than those you apply to other groups. Your argument is that the Zionist lobby is uniquely powerful. People like me would put it at the bottom of the top 20 nowhere near the pharmaceutical lobby or the agribusiness lobby. A good deal of what you write about the Zionist lobby is true of most lobbies. You don’t indicate in your writing.
    a) You have objections to lobbying as a major component of how America is governed
    b) You have specific objections to the Zionist lobby.

    Conflating (a), writing about the Zionist lobby with charges that apply to all lobbies is anti-Semitic. It is just like the people who attack blacks for being on public assistance even though far more whites are on public assistance.

    Similarly on Israeli “crimes”. Your site is completely biased exclusively focusing on bad stuff about Israel, among bad things presenting the most hostile sources and then further drawing conclusions as if there was no conflicting information. From that bias you are argue for policies that deny Jews any self determination and forever enslave them (at best) to Palestinians. Most Jews have a sense of proportion and balance. They understand that Israel is a young country dealing with the problems of a young nation and they should be rightfully compared to young countries not mature countries: Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Zaire… And in that comparison they come out quite well.

    When Pamela Geller says the most negative stuff possible about Muslims cast in the most negative light she gets classified differently than people who write balanced stuff. And that’s irrespective of whether they think she has a good cause or not.

    Finally, certainly there are reasonable questions about having a dialogue on how the Jews handle power. This is a conversation the left has wanted to have with Jews since the 1940s, where Jews still think of themselves as a weak minority and no one else in the USA does. That being said, I suspect when they stop thinking of themselves that way America Jews are just going to be another group of white Republicans. Jewish support for the left is nothing like it was 2 generations ago., it is becoming more of a hobby than a point of self image. I think most Jews are liberal because they secular and educated. The dialogue is ultimately going to be for American Jews, “your interests are better aligned with the powerful’s desire to maintain than the powerless’ desire to adjust”. Are you sure you really want what you are asking for?

    • just
      just
      May 5, 2015, 5:22 pm

      Funny, I see NOTHING anti- semitic.

      (maybe it’s not so funny… some people are just conditioned to see it where it doesn’t exist.)

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 5, 2015, 8:22 pm

      “A good deal of what you write about the Zionist lobby is true of most lobbies”

      ROTFLMSJAO!!! Is that supposed to be some kind of extenuation? So you are saying that the Israel lobby is pretty much the same as the NRA, or the people trying to gut the EPA or get special tax breaks?

      Ok, “JeffyB”, if you say so!

      • pabelmont
        pabelmont
        May 6, 2015, 6:36 am

        He says, does he?, that AIPAC is just like the rest of American political corruption, no different and no worse? If Big-Oil can attempt to bring on the end-of-the-world by opposing action on climate change, where’s the harm in a much less-severe-in-outcome attempt by AIPAC to subject America to pro-Zionism, with the attendant discomforture of (merely) millions of Palestinians, especially when that discomforture has the benefit of bringing on feelings of euphoria among (not merely !) (one does not say “merely” of Jews!) millions of Zionist Jews ? Are not all lobbies severely blinkered single-purpose eyes-on-the-prize me-first damn-the-torpedoes-aimed-at-others organizations?

        Yes, where is the harm? so quit qvetching (if you are Jewish) and otherwise quit complaining, Mr. Weiss!

    • johneill
      johneill
      May 5, 2015, 8:48 pm

      I take your points about singling out Israel and its lobbying of the US governing bodies, but I fail to see why such focus is antisemitic when, as I see it, this is the point of the site: to expose the sway a foreign country holds over US foreign policy, and as well to expose the occupation which is whitewashed – if mentioned at all – in major US media outlets. That the focus of this blog is in this area doesn’t mean the writers don’t care about corruption from pharmaceutical/agribusiness/military-industrial-complex lobbies or human rights abuses elsewhere, merely that Israel is afforded ‘different standards’ (for a number of reasons) in mainstream American discourse. This site wants to challenge that.
      Your point about Pam Geller on the other hand, makes little to no sense. Apart from the vagueness of accusations of ‘inciting’, there is a real difference between calling the only Jewish country to account for its numerous crimes against humanity, and calling an entire religion violent and backwards. How is boycotting occupation by a foreign country (which many Jewish students haven’t been to) a form of incitement against Jewish students on campus? It’s your conflation of Israel with Judaism that’s dangerous.
      Also “Muslims are vastly vastly more powerful on a global scale than Jews”? are you kidding? In the middle east maybe, but definitely not globally, let alone Europe and the US (where your friend Ms. Geller is greeted reluctantly as a ‘free-speech advocate’ but actual anti-semites like neo-nazis have to sue to exercise their right to hate-speech).
      But I did have a laugh about your point comparing Israel to Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, and DRC, especially when Israeli pr so desperately wants it to be seen as a western outpost in the middle east.

      • traintosiberia
        traintosiberia
        May 5, 2015, 10:53 pm

        When does the description of an event or narrating a known history become anti- of anything ? Is it anti Arab to say that Saudi is oppressing maid,intervening in neighboring countries,sending terrorists to Chechenya or Kashmir or Syria? Was it ant Arab to say Saddam gassed Kurds or attacked Kuwait ? If the ideas have any whatsoever effects on any country or any group of people . It had in Iraq . On the basis of these information Iraqi society was destroyed and further down the line in2003 again on the basis of description of some events, it was decimated . At least those ideas and distortion of those events could be classified as hate speech , ( equivalent to Nazi antisemitism ) of propaganda that encapsulated anti Arab attitude and paved way for social destruction of million of people.
        But why referring to the money machine that keeps anti Iran polemics in full force and high gear of readiness ,should be called Antisemitic when one hears everyday same ,sees same and be assured by the donors that what they expect from the politicians.It was no different in case of Iraq Lebanon,and Syria in recent memory . While these are discreet,same stuff goes against Palestinian on a regular basis . How are these any less poignant ,bitter poison pill than Nazi propaganda?

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        May 6, 2015, 12:06 am

        @johneill

        , but I fail to see why such focus is antisemitic

        The focus in and of itself isn’t anti-semitic. A site that focused on Japan wouldn’t be anti-Japanese. A site that relentless attacked Japan for things that other countries did and took flaws in Japan completely out of proportion would be anti-Japanese. For example Japan has very high rates of teen prostitution. If that was all one talked about and tried to characterize Japanese society as having no properties other than teen prostitution that’s not focus on Japan that’s just blatant anti-Japanese bigotry. Normally if one were genuinely concerned with teen prostitution one might respond to that by looking at underlying causes or perhaps proposing reasonable solutions. Normally would look at other countries that also have high rates like Liberia and Burma and try and see if there are similarities. If someone was unable to do that but instead pretended that prostitution was a uniquely Japanese evil, then yes that’s anti-Japanese bigotry not merely focus.

        to expose the sway a foreign country holds over US foreign policy

        What sway does Israel hold over US foreign policy? US foreign policy on Israel reflects the opinions of Americans. Your issue is not with a foreign country holding sway but domestic constituencies you don’t like holding sway. The anti-Zionist crowd want the USA to reflect the UN and the anti-colonial movement, movements that mostly the USA has been hostile to. Ask South America or South Eastern Asia how found America is of leftist anti-colonialism. That has nothing to do with Israel.

        merely that Israel is afforded ‘different standards’ (for a number of reasons) in mainstream American discourse

        And that is anti-Semitic. Israel should be treated like any other middle eastern country.

        , there is a real difference between calling the only Jewish country to account for its numerous crimes against humanity, and calling an entire religion violent and backwards.

        What is the difference other than in one case you use the term “crimes against humanity” for relatively minor violations while on the other she is just calling the religion violent and backwards even though the death toll is far far higher?

        How is boycotting occupation by a foreign country a form of incitement against Jewish students on campus?

        Martians don’t live and run Israel Jews do. Israel is a Jewish thing. Demonizing Israel is demonizing Judaism is demonizing Jews.

        It’s your conflation of Israel with Judaism that’s dangerous

        The Jews have collectively decided to embrace Zionism and Zionist claims. You may not like that Jews worldwide have decided to stop being just a religion and migrate towards being a nation, and that the majority of them are already a nation.. but that’s the status and the direction is even clearly. Judaism and Israel are conflated. Israel is the Jewish state. Judaism is moving towards just being the Israeli religion in the same way that Shinto is just the Japanese religion.

        Also “Muslims are vastly vastly more powerful on a global scale than Jews”? are you kidding? In the middle east maybe, but definitely not globally, let alone Europe and the US

        Besides the middle east there is central Asia, Africa, Indonesia… 53 countries. As for Europe. there are 44.1m muslims in Europe and about 1.1m Jews. The fact you would consider them remotely comparable is part of the problem, a disproportionate attention paid to Jews. Jews are not that important.

        I’ll hold on that one because I think the Europe example is so striking in making my point. But IMHO in the USA while the domestic population of Jews is likely more powerful than domestic Muslims; foreign muslims have strong ties to the energy industry which is one of the more powerful industries and and strong ties on about 50 countries worth of influence. Saudi Arabia alone seems to have much more influence over USA foreign policy than Israel. If American were really backing Israel the way critics claim it does (and arguably the way it does Saudi Arabia): America would support expulsion of the Palestinians, be on ISIS side and opposed fully to Iran and support all sorts of minority ethnicities like the Kurds and the Copts.

    • traintosiberia
      traintosiberia
      May 5, 2015, 8:57 pm

      Pamela Geller doesn’t do a lot of things including asking for assaults against Muslim countries . She doesn’t have to . Its called division of labor. Bernard levy ,for instance stands for her and regularly asks for assaults on Muslim countries . I am sure you have seen her picture with some nutty Zionist from Israel who does other stuff. CNN does her a favor by talking about respect of freedom of speech . She does her part for CNN by staying quiet about firing of Sanchez,Jim Clancy,Octavia Nasr ( how these characters cases different than the denial of services to the couple asking for a Homosexual wedding cake? . CNN can’t pick and choose what its employees could say and couldnt say on the basis of race or ethnicities while it allows its anchors ,hosts,and guests dispense much worse opinion on Arabs and Muslim) . Pamella Geller doesn’t have say to American Christian atheists,Hindus,and Jews ” go and kill the Muslim” .she can get same thing done by saying ” Muslim say or their religion says or Koran says to kill Chrstian,Jews,Hindus,and atheists first thing in the morning to the commuters on the train or buses to school or works” . Goebbles didn’t spend a lot of time about how to kill and when to kill . But he made sure people don’t get lost in his propaganda but got the essence . Germans got the essence of his polemics .
      Bush never said Saddam was involved in 911 or anthrax but he made sure that message came out of his daily show . Sometime the unspoken is what is spoken and the spoken gets relegated to the oblivion.

    • traintosiberia
      traintosiberia
      May 5, 2015, 10:42 pm

      I see some mysterious subliminal message of parallelism in your effort to compare Rwanda ,Congo or another third world country to Israel. It was tried not that long ago by some political linguist ( neocons are political linguists . Politics influence the meanings and the meanings enable the politics. Distortion rather than straight lies bring the magic to life ) in his effort to generate some fellow feelings between India and Israel on the basis of newly minted ideas . Idea was that like India,Israel fought against colonial powers for independence and for freedom

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        May 6, 2015, 12:17 am

        @traintosiberia

        I think it has more to do with defense ties and fighting a common enemy. Israel has always wanted a friendship with India. India had a pro-Arab anti-Israel position. But as Arab-nationalism got replaced with Islamism; Israel’s enemies hate India as well. Al-Shabaab has announced plans to go after Israeli and Jewish interests in Africa; they do quite aggressively go after Bollywood. So now well over a majority (and if you only include Hindus almost a supermajority) of Indians are pro-Israel.

        I don’t see a conspiracy. Israel is becoming a normal country and thus countries who share common interests are willing to be friends.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      May 6, 2015, 12:09 am

      @JeffB
      “They understand that Israel is a young country dealing with the problems of a young nation and they should be rightfully compared to young countries not mature countries: Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Zaire… And in that comparison they come out quite well. ”

      LOL You set the bar so low zionists had to limbo to do it. And they did so gleefully and continue to set the bar ever lower. Just when think they can sink no further they impress you with proving there are no depths they will leave unplumbed.

      Your suggestion and comparison is ludicrous. Jewish people, especially the founding waves of European zionists had many generations of living in western style nations which had, at least, a semblance of democracy. They not only enjoyed equality in many of those nations but were a part of the power elite. African nations were nomadic and agra based tribes which were primarily excluded from the governing classes.

      C’mon Jeff. That’s your measurement? At least it used to be dictatorial middle eastern states. That wasn’t a low enough bar? G o for it. Israel is a belligerant, human rights abusing, supremacist state and fails by any measures other than those figments of imagination you dream up in a vain attempt to justify it’s barbaric actions.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        May 6, 2015, 12:28 am

        @oldgeezer

        OK fine then I’ll happy compare Israel to Western countries when they were the same age.

        France: Israel is far more humane than the Merovingian kingdom.
        Spain: Israel is far more humane than the Federate Kingdom of the Visigoths and Vandals

        etc… What is ridiculous is to compare Israel at 65 to mature countries that had already cleared their territory of enemy nations centuries ago. A 3 year old can be quite bright and talented compared to other 3 year olds and still rather slow when compared to 20 years olds.

        As for the rest. Israel is a terrific democracy with a thriving advanced economy that doesn’t get along well with a belligerent minority. They handle them rather humanely on balance, though there is room for improvement. Nothing shocking.

        Israel has far more than a semblance of democracy, it has a very successful democracy among the majority group. And not only that it has been able to extend somewhat to the minority groups. The fact that you wouldn’t see that as a even a semblance is what I’m talking about regarding a complete lack of proportion.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      May 6, 2015, 1:03 am

      @JeffB

      There is no legitimate state security reason for Israel to behave as it does. You will need to be lower than a snakes belly to justify that and zionists are just about there.

      If that makes you feel pride you are welcome to it. I don’t need to accept it.

    • JeffB
      JeffB
      May 6, 2015, 8:12 am

      @pabelmont

      He says, does he?, that AIPAC is just like the rest of American political corruption, no different and no worse? If Big-Oil can attempt to bring on the end-of-the-world by opposing action on climate change, where’s the harm in a much less-severe-in-outcome attempt by AIPAC to subject America to pro-Zionism, with the attendant discomforture of (merely) millions of Palestinians, especially when that discomforture has the benefit of bringing on feelings of euphoria among (not merely !) (one does not say “merely” of Jews!) millions of Zionist Jews ? Are not all lobbies severely blinkered single-purpose eyes-on-the-prize me-first damn-the-torpedoes-aimed-at-others organizations?

      Yes, where is the harm? so quit qvetching (if you are Jewish) and otherwise quit complaining, Mr. Weiss!

      Let me just say that while you are mocking,, yes that was the point: the Zionist lobby is just a lobby. I think it is anti-Semitic to pretend that the Jews are doing something unique when they are doing the same thing as other groups that are approaching the government for a redress of grievances and to protect their interests. There is no reason to treat something that is openly a key component of the American political system as if it were some nefarious secret and if Americans knew they would object to. Americans are well aware that the establishment sides of political parties represents constellations of lobbies while the populist side of those parties represents constellations of voters. Lobbies are intermediaries, the mechanism by which the vague non-actionable wants of the voters coalesce into actionable proposals. We have a representative democracy, people’s opinions influence their choice of representation they don’t act directly on legislation. Lobbies are not a corruption of the system, they are a key component of the system as it is designed.

      Stuff you like emerged from lobbies. You mentioned environmentalism. The sort of vague nature loving of the Conservation Movement of the post civil war era, in and of itself wouldn’t have done anything. But once that energy was harassed into the Sierra Club you had important legislation passed. The Forest Reserve Act, the first major piece of federal environmental legislation exists because of lobbies. Without the Sierra Club you would have people writing poetry and painting pictures of nature and wishing that someone would do something to preserve America’s natural beauty.

      Corruption is when a person acts against the interests he is supposed to be backing so as to support himself. So for example when Minerals Management Service under Bush was listening to energy extraction companies complaints and offering suggestions they were doing they job, the Bush administration had run on a friendly policy towards energy extraction. When the MMS was trading poor enforcement to energy companies for cocaine and sex that’s corruption.

      Obviously most Democrats, myself included, are getting concerned that the balance of power between supports and constituents is getting skewed. Though think billionaires are far less corrupting than millionaires so see the rise of mega donors via. superpacs as potentially net helpful, even while far from ideal. And one can have a conversation about that. One could even use AIPAC as an example. But the context would then be how AIPAC is like dozens of other groups not a unique threat.

      • justicewillprevail
        justicewillprevail
        May 6, 2015, 9:39 am

        The point is, however much you write screeds of excuses and diversions, the zionist lobby is not like any other lobby, and certainly doesn’t behave like any other. Perhaps you could tell us which others act like vigilantes over every single senator, write legislation for them and dragoon them into their nasty political ideology of war and segregation. Pretending otherwise is stupid, but of course you spend all your time pretending, at great spam-like length.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        May 6, 2015, 12:23 pm

        @justicewillprevail

        The point is, however much you write screeds of excuses and diversions, the zionist lobby is not like any other lobby, and certainly doesn’t behave like any other. Perhaps you could tell us which others act like vigilantes over every single senator, write legislation for them and dragoon them into their nasty political ideology of war and segregation.

        Well you wrote that with a lot of insulting words that I wouldn’t agree with. But strip them away into more natural language and what you are describing is the norm. All lobbies check how representatives and senators vote on their interests that’s why they exist. Most lobbies write legislation, how do you think legislation that gets passed (especially when bills used to pass regularly) gets written? They also write most federal regulations. Lobbies also form the bulk of advisory panels.

        Politicians aren’t experts, they don’t have the kinds of deep staffing, policy is written by lobbyists. And that’s even getting specialized. The lobbyists themselves are more and more unqualified and pull in groups like American Legislative Exchange Council which help lobbies draft legislation so that they can give it to politicians.

        Pretending that when Jews do the same stuff ofter Americans it is some how uniquely bad is precisely why MW gets accused of anti-Semitism. What you are describing is lobbies doing their job. You should do some investigating and learn how the system works. You want to change things the mechanism for doing it is a lobby. You want to complain and wax paranoia you get applauded here.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      May 6, 2015, 9:10 am

      Oh, JeffB,
      Why don’t you use your great anti dectecting powers on…Texas?
      Surely, anti-Texasism is the newest, latest threat to The Great State of Texas.
      Surely, you see the unfairness of focusing all your attention on Israel…and that such a thing is a blatant case of Anti-Texisism?

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        May 6, 2015, 9:42 am

        @CigarGod

        Texans aren’t their own nation. But if there were a group of people who wanted to end Texans rights to have self rule in their state shop off huge sections of Texas and ethnically cleanse the Texans from those sections, to give to import a hostile foreign population to rule over the Texans… I wouldn’t favor that either. But such a group doesn’t exist.

        BDS’s proposals are ridiculous the moment you say them about any other place. Which just proves how ridiculous they are about Israel.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        May 6, 2015, 8:39 pm

        Texans generally support Israel wholeheartedly and have a very unique attitude among US states/citizens especially when it comes to defending Texan rights. Texas is a bad example as I believe if anyone ever fired a missile from across the border at Texas-Texans themselves would be the first to respond with overwhelming force. Go read what Texans have to say about the recent shooting at Gellers ‘event’

      • just
        just
        May 6, 2015, 9:34 pm

        Yee- haw, Dabakr! Which Texans are you celebratin’ tonite?

        The Gellerians?

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        May 7, 2015, 12:44 am

        @JeffB
        “But if there were a group of people who wanted to end Texans rights to have self rule in their state shop off huge sections of Texas and ethnically cleanse the Texans from those sections, to give to import a hostile foreign population to rule over the Texans… I wouldn’t favor that either. ”

        Let me rephrase that

        But if there were a group of people who wanted to end Palestinian rights to have self rule in their state shop off huge sections of Palestine and ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from those sections, to give to import a hostile foreign population to rule over the Palestinians… I wouldn’t favor that either.

        Yes you would. You clearly support European and North American Jews doing just that.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        May 7, 2015, 12:58 am

        @Jeffie

        I apologize. I was somewhat hasty.

        I neglected to include Asian’s as part of the immigrant group given that large parts of Russia and the old USSR are in Asia.

        I also neglected to note that you support these same peoples commiting those crimes outside of the borders of Texas whether it be Mexico, Lousiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Mexico, etc

      • Kris
        Kris
        May 7, 2015, 1:09 am

        @JeffB: “But if there were a group of people who wanted to end Texans rights to have self rule in their state shop (sic) off huge sections of Texas and ethnically cleanse the Texans from those sections, to give to import a hostile foreign population to rule over the Texans… I wouldn’t favor that either. ”

        As oldgeezer points out, this is exactly what you have been supporting for years, including today, in your comments on mondoweiss. Are you okay?

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        May 7, 2015, 7:17 am

        @oldgeezer (& also indirectly @kris)

        But if there were a group of people who wanted to end Palestinian rights to have self rule in their state shop off huge sections of Palestine and ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from those sections, to give to import a hostile foreign population to rule over the Palestinians… I wouldn’t favor that either.

        Yes you would. You clearly support European and North American Jews doing just that.

        I’m not sure where you get that I support that. If this debate had been in 1915 and not 2015 I might very well have huge problems with the morality of Zionism. The destruction of a society is a horrific act and something that should only be done for the best reasons. I don’t believe Texans are a nation, just as I don’t believe Palestinians in 1915 were a nation. But that doesn’t mean the society in Texas should be destroyed without very good reason. In 1915 it is entirely possible, were I not a partisan that I wouldn’t have seen what Jews were facing as a good enough reason to destroy the Levant society in Palestine. Zionism was a tiny minority view even among Jews in 1915, there is no reason to believe if I lived then I would have been a Zionist. And if I were a Zionist in 1915 I likely wouldn’t have seen that colonialism was about to collapse, (though I would have understood that the Ottoman Empire was done for). The idea that we were a generation away from the entire world going through what Europe went through in the 16th century wouldn’t have occurred to me and I might very well have supported a Jewish homeland in Palestine and not a Jewish state.

        Now I would have been wrong in my moral qualms The Holocaust justifies the Nabka completely. Had Zionism been successful a decade earlier a huge chunk if not all of the six million who died would have lived. Jews who believed in liberal humanism ended up killing millions of their fellows. We know that both Hitler and Eichmann supported the Madagascar Plan, had Palestine been available they would have supported Herzl in his bleak assessment of the Jewish future was proven right, the vast majority of Jews who believed that the middle ages anti-Semitism was a thing of the past proven wrong. So in 1915 knowing the future, yes I would have supported Zionism. The first rule of life is survival.

        But in 2015 that’s not the relevant question. In 1915 the relevant question is not whether to bring back the Christian society that existed in Palestine prior to the Egyptian / Mamluk Byzantine conquest, but whether to replace the existing Levant society with a new Jewish society. Similarly in 2015 the question whether to destroy the Jewish society that exists in Palestine and replace it with an Arab Muslim society. The Levant society of the 19th century is gone forever, just like the pre-Mamluk Christian society is gone forever.

        All humans act in time. We can’t change the past. We cannot decide what happened in the past. We can only act in the present so as to shape the future. You all are the advocates for destroying
        the existing society in Palestine. The argument that this is justified by how they got there is nonsense because the Palestinians themselves got there through the same process. Not wanting to see societies destroyed and not wanting to see the peoples genocided is consistent with opposing BDS not supporting it.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 7, 2015, 9:04 pm

        “As oldgeezer points out, this is exactly what you have been supporting for years, including today, in your comments on mondoweiss. Are you okay? “

        Other than a bad case (one of the worst we’ve seen) of logorrhea, he’s comfortable.
        But who is going to clean up the mess?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 8, 2015, 5:09 am

        “Now I would have been wrong in my moral qualms The Holocaust justifies the Nabka completely. Had Zionism been successful a decade earlier a huge chunk if not all of the six million who died would have lived. “JeffyB” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/response-washington-blogger#sthash.fS6njDPf.dpuf

        Well, well, well, “JeffyB” the Moderator can’t say you are denying the Nakba in that paragraph. Oh, you’re not denying it at all, are you.

        Ah, “JeffyB” how well you advocate for Zionism. So the Holocaust justifies the Nakba? So I guess we can now talk about justifications for the Holocaust?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 9, 2015, 5:48 pm

        “The Holocaust justifies the Nabka completely. Had Zionism been successful a decade earlier a huge chunk if not all of the six million who died would have lived”

        “JeffyB” I’m not sure I’m right about this, but I have a funny feeling all that –“@Phil: It is a good piece. You are a good writer.” is sorta wasted now. Good try.

        But gee, JeffyB, are you going far enough? Oh, no. Really, is the Nakba enough?
        Consider how horrible the Holocaust was, and tell me if you are not devaluing it’s worth. Really, couldn’t you justify much more than the Nakba with it? Don’t sell the Holocaust short, JeffyB, after all, the Zionists have a whole hell of a lot more than just the Nakba they need to justify. Why throw away your best resource all at once?
        Perhaps, given the rate of inflation in so many areas since WW2, one can now justify both the Nakba, and the occupations, and the internal Apartheid in Israel, whoops, that’s three, and there’s a bunch more to go.
        Maybe the Nakba (which did so much for Israel, why it made it the place it is today!) as valuable, as essential as it was to Zionism, isn’t enough. Maybe you could say that it was just a down payment!

    • Stephen Shenfield
      Stephen Shenfield
      December 21, 2015, 7:32 pm

      JeffB: You argue that Phil is anti-Semitic because he “consistently holds Jews to entirely different standards than those you apply to other groups.”

      Assuming for the sake of argument that this is true, how does it prove anti-Semitism? Holding Jews to a higher moral standard is traditional to Judaism. How can Jews be “a light unto the nations” unless they hold themselves to a higher moral standard than the nations? It is connected to the positive ideal self-image of the tsaddik (righteous man). Zionists seek to erase this image as part of their project of “normalizing” the Jews. You feel that the demand for a higher moral standard is unfair. But what you are fighting is in fact Judaism.

    • talknic
      talknic
      December 21, 2015, 9:05 pm

      @ JeffB

      WOW! Not a shred of evidence to support your accusations. That’s amazing! How do you do it?

  5. John Douglas
    John Douglas
    May 5, 2015, 4:07 pm

    “You should be proud of that piece…” Just got that right!

    What brought out David Berstein in the first place was the honesty of your piece, Philip, in conjunction with its insight and its deep truth. These are not characteristics that we find nowadays in any political discourse, let alone from the professional sophists who will tell any lie to promote Likud policies as they lurk in our country’s newspapers, “think” tanks and television media.

  6. MRW
    MRW
    May 5, 2015, 4:29 pm

    I wrote the following piece on Colonel Pat Lang’s Sic Sempter Tyrannis last week. I think it bears repeating here because it goes to Phil’s idea of the need for self-reflection.

    One of my all-time favorite books (not for the faint-hearted) is Robert Bechtold Heilman’s “Tragedy and Melodrama.”

    In it Heilman describes the difference between the melodramatic and tragic casts-of mind, which he says defines a society or civilization. He says these perspectives define a man’s thinking as well as the society at large.

    Twenty years before George W Bush, he described the melodramatic cast-of-mind as one in which the [main character] perceives himself as completely whole, wholly good, and that everything that happens to him (or it) comes from without, whether that is good or evil. The melodramatic cast-of-mind sees the world as us against them, good vs evil, either for us or against us. A melodramatic society–this is not a pejorative, but descriptive, which Heiman takes 150 pages to explore—is young, unsophisticated, incapable of greatness in its decisions or undertakings, and its literature reflects that. Comedy is a melodramatic form as well, one that makes us laugh. Present day Israel embraces the melodramatic cast-of-mind.

    The tragic cast-of-mind requires the attainment of self-knowledge, self-awareness, and eventual responsibility for one’s actions. Always. Hellman laments in the early part of his book the common misuse of the word “tragedy” to describe catastrophic accidents or disastrous natural events: ‘Tragedy on Highway 40’, or ‘Tragic Indian Earthquake Kills All Village Children’. He says it couldn’t have been a tragedy because we have no way of knowing if the guy who died in the car accident was aware of what he did that led to his demise. Ditto the natural event no one saw coming. But the best part of this book is his description of how a society cannot accept tragic literature from its writers until it has matured and become advanced. It cannot become a great civilization without self-realization and responsibility. I don’t do Heilman’s arguments justice here. He makes a comment somewhere in the book that the day we can accept a Broadway play in which a Nazi guard becomes a sympathetic main character (a tragic character) will be the day we will have advanced as a society.

    Heilman also makes the point that the tragic cast-of-mind (which he also identifies as a ‘version of experience’) requires the greater intelligence.

    • aiman
      aiman
      May 6, 2015, 10:10 am

      Sounds really interesting. Thanks MRW. Hope to check this out.

  7. lysias
    lysias
    May 5, 2015, 5:03 pm

    Mysterious. Unless I have missed it somehow, Bernstein’s piece is nowhere to be found in today’s print edition of the WaPo that was delivered to my door (I’m a subscriber). I wonder if they’ll publish it later in the week, as sometimes happens, or if this is strictly an on-line piece.

    • ckg
      ckg
      May 5, 2015, 11:48 pm

      lysias, I guess one the main advantage of getting the print edition is not having to read the ‘Volokh Conspiracy’ bloggers Bernstein and Volokh. You may want to see if ‘Right Turn’ blogger Jen Rubin appears in the print edition. If not, be doubly glad you subscribe to the print edition.

  8. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    May 5, 2015, 5:10 pm

    RE: “This is the issue Bernstein completely avoids: the remarkable rise of Jews inside the U.S. establishment in the last generation. How do we deal with this? How do we reconcile ourselves to this status? Do we even acknowledge it? Or do we turn a blind eye to it because it is embarrassing or goes against our image of ourselves.” ~ Weiss

    SEE: A Problem of Self Image (Mysh ) from Richard Silverstein’s Tikun Olam site

  9. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    May 5, 2015, 5:26 pm

    RE: “Dwelling in that victimization narrative is a way of avoiding dealing with who we are today; and we are by and large privileged.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Unfortunately, right-wing types abhor honest self-examination/reflection!

    • FROM TED RALL, 07/22/10:

    [EXCERPT] . . . Umberto Eco’s 1995 essay “Eternal Fascism” describes the cult of action for its own sake under fascist regimes and movements: “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.” . . .

    SOURCE – http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/07/22-1

    • FROM ROGER COHEN, 2/13/12:

    [EXCERPT] . . . Netanyahu — raised in the Jabotinsky strain of Zionism by a father who viewed Arabs as “semi-barbaric” and rejected an “emasculating moralism” in favor of a new warrior breed of Jew. . .

    SOURCE – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/opinion/cohen-the-dilemmas-of-jewish-power.html

    • FROM WIKIPEDIA (Futurism)

    [EXCERPT] . . . [Italian] Futurism had from the outset admired violence and was intensely patriotic. The Futurist Manifesto had declared, “We will glorify war —the world’s only hygiene —militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman.”[14]. . .

    SOURCE – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futurism

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      May 5, 2015, 5:29 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Israel’s Defense Chief OK’s Hundreds of Israeli Deaths”, By Ira Chernus, CommonDreams.org, 11/11/11

      [EXCERPTS] “If we take out the Iranian nuke facilities, sure, they’ll strike back at us,” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said yesterday. “But if every American stays in their home when the Iranian rockets start falling, well, it will be uncomfortable. It won’t be a picnic. But we won’t have 220,000 Americans killed. Not even 22,000. So let’s stop the fear-mongering. We’ve got vital interests to protect.” . . ,

      No, of course Panetta didn’t say that. It would be unimaginable. But Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak did say much the same thing in a radio interview just the other day.

      . . . An essential motive of Zionism from its beginning was a fierce desire to end the centuries of Jewish weakness, to show the world that Jews would no longer be pushed around, that they’d fight back and prove themselves tougher than their enemies. There was more to Zionism than that. But the “pride through strength” piece came to dominate the whole project. Hence the massive Israeli military machine with its nuclear arsenal.
      But you can’t prove that you’re stronger than your enemies unless you’ve also got enemies — or at least believe you’ve got enemies — to fight against. So there has to be a myth of Israel’s insecurity, fueled by an image of vicious anti-semites lurking somewhere out there, for Zionism to work. Since the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran has gradually risen to the top of Israel oh-so-necessary enemies list. Iranophobia is rampant in Israel, as one Israeli scholar writes, because “Israel needs an existential threat.”
      Anyone who has grown up in Israel, or in the U.S. Jewish community (as I did), and paid attention knows all this. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/11-2

  10. catalan
    catalan
    May 5, 2015, 5:54 pm

    Overall there is nothing wrong in having a discussion about Jews. I think that you exaggerate a little bit the power and influence of Jews in the United States.
    The site naturally attracts are a large assortment of people, some of whom are your standard fair “Jews rule the world for their own benefit” types. That is to be expected and would occur if you run a web site about any group of people.
    However, it is true that for many Jews it is difficult to accept the harsh critique offered here. That is also normal. Just think how many Americans see themselves the way the world sees us, and how they would react if all their most cherished myths (democracy, decency, charity) are analyzed with the same intensity.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 5, 2015, 10:27 pm

      “The site naturally attracts are a large assortment of people, some of whom are your standard fair “Jews rule the world for their own benefit” types.”

      Of course, you feel no obligation to provide even one example or link, but that’s all right, “catalan”, you are just naturally an expert on this stuff.
      No need to provide any quotes or examples. We’ll just take it as read.

  11. marc b.
    marc b.
    May 5, 2015, 6:03 pm

    give Bernstein one point. I probably shouldn’t have used the $7000 a week hotel anecdote straight out of Goodbye Columbus toward the end of the piece. It was shtik-like and cartoonish, and that piece was serious business.

    Please. F*ck him. why you would concede anything to Bernstein is a mystery. His article is a daisy chain of ad hominem attacks, and, as is typical of the reflex screechers, he casually flits back and forth between historical periods as if nothing has changed in the past century.

    He says:

    I find anti-Israel blogger Philip Weiss morbidly interesting, and I occasionally happen upon his blog. Weiss finds his own Jewish background alternately suffocating and infuriating, and yet can’t seem to stop talking about it, and about how he’s trying to overcome it.

    So Berstein is able to make a sweeping assessment of Weiss’s psychology from his occasional reading of the blog? Oh, and ‘morbid interest’: If we’re doing psychoanalysis on the fly, I would swap out ‘morbidity’ for ‘narcissism’, as Bernstein is reading about himself in fact. ‘There is nothing so interesting as me.’

    I’ve made an occasional reference to Weiss or the blog he founded, Mondoweiss, since then. Mondweiss is basically one-stop shopping for anti-Israel news. Anything bad that goes on in Israel will be publicized and exaggerated at Mondoweiss. If you want to know the far-left anti-Israel party line on any recent event, Mondoweiss is the place to go.

    “One-stop shopping for anti-Israel news . . . for the far-left anti-Israel party . . .’ And Weiss is apologizing for his hotel anecdote. How many votes does Bernstein expect the ‘far-left anti-Israel party’ will get in the 2016 presidential election? My guess is none, which can either mean there is no such party, or if it does exist, it is so ineffectual as not to merit mention in the Washington Post. No point in debating the paranoid, however.

    So in a sense it’s understandable that people with an interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict read Mondoweiss, especially if they share the blog’s anti-Israel politics. I keep up sporadically with Mondoweiss largely because its posts sometimes find their way into my Facebook feed from some of my more left-wing friends.

    Yes, again, with the navel gazing, the cute reference to Bernstein’s ‘sporadic’, ‘sometimes’ reading of Mondoweiss. (Yes, and sometimes Bernstein ‘sporadically keeps up with’ barelylegalgangbang.something as it ‘sometimes finds its way into his Facebook feed.’) This dishonesty is even more evident when you read the introduction to the piece, setting the table with a reference to a 2008 Bernstein article on Mondoweiss. Really, what a disingenuous ass.

    But here’s the (drum roll please) dramatic, tabloid-style revelation to be made, leading you by the nose through the end of the article:

    Mondoweiss’ value as a news aggregator, it is also a hate site.

    Despite his clinical diagnosis of the obsessive-compulsive self-hater, it took Bernstein 7 or so years to conclude that the self-hater, hates. Well, I guess Bernstein had to go at his own pace, no rushing a terminal diagnosis. He wouldn’t want Weiss jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge prematurely.

    Mondoweiss tries to preserve a fine line between hostility to Jews and hostility to Israel, but every once in a while, Weiss reminds us that the blog’s entire existence owes to the fact that he can’t maintain that separation.

    That’s an interesting point. Is Bernstein acknowledging that ‘hostility’ towards Israel is justified, until it crosses over into ‘hostility’ towards Jews, or is something else at work? And since Weiss ‘can’t maintain that separation’, suggesting it held up for a time, perhaps he could share an example of Weiss’s justified hostility to Israel, that didn’t tip into unjustified hostility to Jews? No? No.

    The most dramatic example I’ve seen arrived in my Facebook feed last week via a Jewish journalist who passed it along with the comment, “Who thinks like this?”

    Huh? Who thinks like what? According what I’ve read, at least from Bernstein and other defenders of the faith, there is a far-left, anti-Israel party, presumably including like-minded self-haters (we’ll throw in Blumenthal and Horowitz, just to name two) who revel in the neuroses of doubt, guilt, and shame. Hasn’t a whole species of comedy been built on this type? That’s who. But Bernstein, and the anonymous character assassin, have an interest in isolating the virus, plunging Weiss into a narrow vial for further investigation. (Careful, we don’t want to alarm the public.)

    In the course of a typical (for Weiss) rambling, somewhat incoherent post, titled, “Forgving the Anti-Semites,” Weiss makes the following claims, all of which are either unrelated to Israel or are only tangentially related to Israel–unless you believe that whatever Israel’s sins, they are not the “normal” sins of a nation-state, but somehow inextricably tied to the shortcomings of Jews.

    Really, do we have to go on? The obsessive, sometimes, occasional, morbid perusal of ‘typical Weiss defects’, and on and on. But that’s a minor point. The real -issue, and the real pathology, is schizophrenia of the ‘Bernstein’-type. I won’t make anyone re-read the whole string of polished turds, but the intrepid Bernstein lays out the intentionally opaque, two-headed coin of Jewish individualism versus the collective, the conflation of Europe under fascism with the 21st century, etc. So,

    The Jews never had much political power in Europe, but after emancipation they were often, on average, more economically successful than the local non-Jewish population. So Jews aren’t proper Marxist victims, because Marxist dogma requires the victims to be of economically lower status than the oppressors. This is a major reason why European Jews faced with violent jihadist anti-Semitism get little sympathy on the far left–they are economically better-off than the local Muslim population, so only the latter can be proper victims. Thus criticizing Islamist jihadists is “punching down.” (Of course, it doesn’t help that the Jews are perceived as “white” and the Muslims not. That seems largely irrelevant in France, where 80% of Jews migrated to France from the same North African countries as most of the Muslims, but maybe I’m attributing some rationality where there is none to be found.)

    Wait. What? Did 75 years pass in a paragraph with no marker? Politically powerless post-emancipation Jews (Rathenau was assassinated because of his impotence?) are faced with violent jihadist anti-Semites who can’t be criticized, because they aren’t white like the 80% of North African Jews . . . who might make up 1% (5%?) , he doesn’t say, of French Jews. Is BHL under attack because he spends too much time under the sun lamp, bronzing his chest hairs? He might want to lighten up, even if in the interest of self-preservation. Really, that whole passage is a muddle, but nevertheless, yes, I agree for once, expecting rational discourse in matters of race is bound to be disappointing.

    For centuries in Europe, “Jew” simply represented whatever real or imagined foe needed to be combated. It’s not entirely a coincidence that when the European far-left decided that nationalism, racism, and imperialism were the foci of evil in the world, that it was Israel that came to be the primary target for those sins, even if the Jewish connection was unconscious among many of the targeters.

    But thankfully, those days are in the past. Instead of irrational, deluded thinking, we have Zionists begging to please focus, forget the talented (or talentless), amorphous, multi-faceted Jewish collective, and concentrate on white phosphorous, settlements, and skunk juice. Forget that Lenny Bruce could coexist in the same world as Edward Teller, and instead realize that every individual Jew, in every corner of the world, artist, baker, pornographer, mother, is an Israeli, because. One foot always out the door. Even if it hasn’t happened yet, there will be a pogrom in Miami, or Montreal, or Havana. You can’t blame them necessarily. It’s just the way they are, inevitable, irredeemable anti-Semites. And that’s the world in a nutshell for Bernstein: Jews and Jew-haters.

    • just
      just
      May 5, 2015, 6:09 pm

      Wow, marc b.~ kerpow!

      Well done.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 5, 2015, 10:32 pm

      “So Berstein is able to make a sweeping assessment of Weiss’s psychology from his occasional reading of the blog?”

      Oh gosh, yes, with very little difficulty! All he has to do, if he visits only occasionally, is spend the time on Hophmi’s comment archive, where Phil is given the complete clinical work-up.

    • MRW
      MRW
      May 5, 2015, 10:33 pm

      Fucking amazing, marc b.

      barelylegalgangbang.something

      But Bernstein, and the anonymous character assassin, have an interest in isolating the virus, plunging Weiss into a narrow vial for further investigation.

      the intrepid Bernstein lays out the intentionally opaque, two-headed coin of Jewish individualism versus the collective, the conflation of Europe under fascism with the 21st century, etc

      One foot always out the door. Even if it hasn’t happened yet, there will be a pogrom in Miami, or Montreal, or Havana.

      Loved these zingers.

    • otc
      otc
      May 5, 2015, 11:39 pm

      “who might make up 1% (5%?) , he doesn’t say, of French Jews.”

      He does say “where 80% of Jews migrated to France from the same North African…”
      I’ve heard anywhere between 70% and 80%

  12. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    May 5, 2015, 6:08 pm

    Journalism is supposed to be the first rough draft of history. With his Passover post Weiss shows that sometimes his journalism is the first rough draft of Father Coughlin’s Sunday night sermon.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 5, 2015, 7:53 pm

      Yonah, this is the second comment in which you have used the “Father Coughlin’s Sunday night sermon” line.

      Maybe you could explain what the hell Father Coughlin has to do with this? You obviously think this comparison is important, you have made it twice. Please clarify.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      May 5, 2015, 8:32 pm

      I’m confused, Yonah. Weiss’s Passover post had no journalistic pretensions. It was a personal piece, intended to cause reflection, maybe even a bit of parallax. But I guess that’s not your real issue. You love to criticize others for being petty and insulting, debasing the debate, and for reflexive resort to the Nazi analogy (when aimed at Israel at least), yet here you are, doing what you do.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 5, 2015, 10:41 pm

        Marc b., after that wonderful post, there’s no reason for you to be confused. Yonah has made it pretty clear:

        “But it does not serve my emotional purposes to get into the crux of the problem and I prefer to deal with secondary issues like Phil playing hopscotch with the line between the Jew hating and Israel bashing.”

        “Actually I don’t wish to be invited to discuss issues. I truly wish to discuss only the issues that I choose to discuss without invitations.”

        Could he be any plainer? No need for confusion. Also stated he won’t be bound by the rules for using quote mark, you know, the rule that they enclose an actual quote. He says he can lie as much as he wants, but nobody should lose any respect for him, cause that would be, well…

    • Donald
      Donald
      May 6, 2015, 12:22 am

      I think Phil sees the Israel apologists can’t defend Israel’s actions, so he chivalrously decided to make it a contest by indulging in some barroom level sociology based on how Terry Gross laughed at Glass’s anecdote. That way the Israel apologists can switch to their favorite subject, anti-semitism and now they have at least a fighting chance of discrediting all the countless solid and informative articles published here by labeling Mondoweiss a hate site. That was damn decent of you Phil–shows a real sense of fair play.

      Snark aside, part of it were fine, but a few chunks–well, if Phil hired me as his editor let’s just say there’d have been less of that barroom sociology. I really don’t understand what Phil thought he was accomplishing with that piece.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 6, 2015, 1:16 am

        “I really don’t understand what Phil thought he was accomplishing with that piece.”

        You put the blob of ink in the center, fold the paper in half, press it, and then peel the halves apart. And then everybody looks and tells you it’s a smear! Just call him Phil ‘Rorshach’ Weiss.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 6, 2015, 11:10 pm

        “That way the Israel apologists can switch to their favorite subject, anti-semitism and now they have at least a fighting chance of discrediting all the countless solid and informative articles published here by labeling Mondoweiss a hate site.”

        I know, Donald. Until published that damned article, Mondo was on the list of Zionist-approved websites, and Zionists were instructed to read it, and carefully consider the ideas presented. With a proviso that “antisemitism” would not be accepted as a defense, and that accusations of “self-hatred” were completely verboten And then Phil had to open his mouth. And he was making such inroads, too. And now they have “a fighting chance of discrediting all the countless solid and informative articles published here by labeling Mondoweiss a hate site”. Which of course, they’ve never done till Phil spilled the beans.

      • Donald
        Donald
        May 7, 2015, 4:06 pm

        I was out of town and didn’t check back. Maybe nobody will read this reply–no great loss. Anyway, Mooser, I agree that people like Bernstein would call Phil an anti-semite no matter what. My point is that one shouldn’t hand him any ammunition by engaging in dumb speculation.

        From my outside POV, much of the American Jewish community seems as screwed up and racist on the subject of Palestinians as many of “my people”, southern whites, were screwed up on the subject of race in America. That’s the point that should be hammered on. Bernstein was writing disgusting pieces about Gaza last summer. Focus on him and people like him, not on some ridiculous story about businessmen being corrupt that has absolutely nothing to do with anything.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 7, 2015, 9:23 pm

        “Anyway, Mooser, I agree that people like Bernstein would call Phil an anti-semite no matter what. My point is that one shouldn’t hand him any ammunition by engaging in dumb speculation.”

        ” Hand him any ammunition”? Okay, if it’s ammunition, Phil should be sorry for giving explosives to an infant who then proceeded to blow it up in his own face! That’s baby Bernstein’s problem, or his parents (for letting him play with toys which aren’t age-appropriate.)

        And really, there’s no point trying to convince the Gentiles we are perfect while I’m still alive.
        All they have to do is just sorta jerk their thumb at me and say: “Yeah? What about him?” and that pretense falls to pieces. But I’m pretty old, and won’t be around all that much longer to mess up our look-good.

        I was out of town and didn’t check back. Maybe nobody will read this reply”

        Please don’t worry, Donald, I’m sure hardly anybody reads my comments.

  13. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    May 5, 2015, 6:18 pm

    “This is the evidence of Prtocol of Zion like thinking”

    There is a sophisticated name for this type of reasoning.
    Since Protocol was a malicious forgery ( like WMD,Aluminium tube,Niger forgery,Atta meeting, and Sarin gas use by Syrian government as well as the estimats that periodically get out of the slow moving pen on IAEA report on Iran nuclear program) ,the evidences cited here have to be malicious figment of imagination,since the author can string the two thoughts together in the same sentence .
    It is childish concrete thinking .
    This is what is palmed off as journalistic wisdom courtesy to WaPo.

  14. Keith
    Keith
    May 5, 2015, 8:02 pm

    PHIL- “The heart of that post was a friend saying that Israel would not cease to abuse Palestinians until Jews forgave the anti-Semites the atrocities committed against Jews in Europe in the last century.”

    I made a lot of comments on that thread, all of which in response to other commenters. I didn’t bother on commenting on the article itself because I felt that the “forgiveness” issue was utter nonsense. There is no need for anybody to forgive anyone, nor would it do any good if they did. Putting aside whatever motivations may have inspired the original Zionists, Zionism currently is a power-seeking ideology which unites Jewish Zionists in similar fashion to what Classical Judaism did. Israel Shahak expresses similar thoughts. This Zionist solidarity is a significant (essential?) factor behind American Jewish Zionist success. As such, it will not be discarded easily. Also, support for a militarized Israel is consistent with support for an aggressive militant empire. And, yes, Zionist Jews are empire Jews. Your attempt to disentangle Israel from empire is a hopeless task, you fool only yourself and those others who ignore the reality of the imperial political economy. In case you haven’t noticed, the empire has set the world on fire, making war on potential future competitors for power. The game is coming to climax with only Iran, Russia and China remaining to be subdued. Hard to be optimistic about any of this. Israel won’t change as long as it has imperial support, which, in turn, strongly depends upon American Jewish Zionist support. This support is determined by power considerations, not forgiveness.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 7, 2015, 9:29 pm

      “There is no need for anybody to forgive anyone, nor would it do any good if they did.”

      I’ve heard that forgiveness, even if it does no good for the forgiven, sometimes does do good things for the forgiver. That’s what I’ve heard.

  15. Mooser
    Mooser
    May 5, 2015, 8:07 pm

    “Bernstein cannot acknowledge it, but he surely knows that this is a signal fact of the Jewish experience, the American rise. He offers a long meditation on the Jewish experience of persecution in Europe.”

    He is only trying to spare his readers the graphic horror of the American Jewish experience, which is not appropriate for younger readers, or those subject to the screaming meemies or heebie-jeebies. But the beginning of the story is ominous enough:
    The Jews came to America, and were forbidden to organize as a nation, and the American government gave the Jews no official recognition, or land of their own. Finally, when the Constitution was written, the horrible truth became clear; Jews were reduced to the ranks of ordinary American citizens, individuals. We weren’t even given ‘reservations’ like the Native Americans! No recognition for our leaders, our religion, no protection from anybody And we are a tiny, tiny minority, and furthermore, disunited religiously.
    Do I have to say any more? The US let us down, and I think it was deliberate! They gave us nothing, as a people.
    You can probably guess the rest, there’s no need to frighten the Posts younger readers with a graphic description of what inevitably followed.

  16. Donald
    Donald
    May 5, 2015, 9:00 pm

    Phil, I assume you wrote that earlier post expecting this sort of attack. I sure did. And the earlier post did contain some dumb parts, like the story of the Jewish guy who cheated the record company. Maybe you really think that anecdote tells us something meaningful. Why?

    Bernstein defended Israel’s monstrous conduct in the Gaza War. We should be putting people like him on the defensive.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 5, 2015, 10:52 pm

      “And the earlier post did contain some dumb parts, like the story of the Jewish guy who cheated the record company.”

      Terry Gross is going to be awfully disappointed when she finds out her interview with Philip Glass had only one solitary listener.

      • Donald
        Donald
        May 6, 2015, 12:36 am

        So you think that anecdote has some larger significance than what one particular guy did? Because Phil seemed to think so. Why, I have no idea, but hell, it’s a blog and I guess we’re supposed to draw conclusions about groups of people based on basically no evidence worth anything.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 6, 2015, 1:28 am

        “So you think that anecdote has some larger significance than what one particular guy did?”

        Wait a minute Donald. Do you think that whole broken record-return business was only taking place in Glass Sr.’s record store basement? Let me tell you, Donald, if what commenter “doug” said on that thread was even remotely true, there were people, (and an awful lot of them Jewish, yes, it must be said!) breaking records in record stores before they were returned. I just don’t see how we can hide it.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 6, 2015, 5:54 pm

        And when I think about how valuable, both in money and history, some of those now-broken, never reissued 78’s might be, I could plotz!
        But did Phillip Glass care? No, he just jumped on ’em for all he was worth.

  17. Mooser
    Mooser
    May 5, 2015, 10:03 pm

    ” If you don’t think that this reflects the Jewish rise into the establishment, and the importance of (Zionist) Jewish money to the political process, then you should read the Forward this week, which recognizes that the American political class has a right to discuss the rightwing Zionist influence over the Republican party, stemming from wealth.”

    Okay, if Phil says I should read the Forward this week, maybe I should. Okay let’s click on over!
    Oh no, oh no, I wish I hadn’t! The name of the article is:

    How Orthodox Money Is Reshaping Republican Politics”

    Excuse me, I’m gonna go lock myself in the lav and have a good cry. It hurts me a lot when I see the TU crumbling like that. We gotta stick together people! Very disappointing.

  18. tommy
    tommy
    May 5, 2015, 10:18 pm

    Ideological nationalism does not apologize, and when combined with religious belief becomes even more intransigent to admitting any crimes, let alone misdemeanors, occurred pursuing its destiny. Not fulfilling the aggrandizement of ethno-religious nationalism is the sin.

  19. Lillian Rosengarten
    Lillian Rosengarten
    May 6, 2015, 1:50 pm

    Bravo Phil. A beautiful response said with dignity and conviction.

  20. Landie_C
    Landie_C
    May 6, 2015, 3:24 pm

    David Bernstein is still huffing and puffing. Most recently, he seems to be implying that Weiss ought not to say anything the least bit unflattering about Jews lest Jews get killed in anti-Semitic rampages.

    • Landie_C
      Landie_C
      May 6, 2015, 4:07 pm

      The last reply to Bernstein as of this writing has been deleted twice now. It reads:

      According to the ADL, “the number of U.S. anti-Semitic incidents in 2014 was still one of the lowest totals recorded since the ADL began keeping records of them in 1979.” In fact, ADL does not record a single instance in 2014 of a Jew being murdered in a hate crime. (As it turns out, the horrific shootings at the JCC by a lone, aging Neo-Nazi gunman happened to have killed three Christians.) In terms of homicide, anti-Semitic hate murder by a lone Neo-Nazi in a country of 300 million people, however dastardly, is hardly cause for paranoia.

      Now someone might call your argument grasping at straws (and strawmen – I never said Jews were immune from the consequences of racism) but I find it telling that you connect Weiss’s comments about “Jewish cheating” and the Jewish lobby (which I don’t think rise to the level of animus) to the hate crimes in Kansas City and Seattle. Around the world, serious anti-Semitic hate crimes are much more likely to be connected to such things as Israeli war crimes in Gaza. Yet as Deborah Lipstadt and others have declared, it is strictly verboten to suggest that Israeli political aggression might trigger anti-Israeli counteraggression. I disagree and so do most ME scholars. It’s one thing to condemn these violent acts along with all vicious anti-Semitic animus as outrageous and unjustified, but quite another to deny that they are in substantial measure politically motivated. Nor is it unreasonable to point out that Israeli aggression *has* a bearing on the safety and well-being of Jews around the world.

      Mild self-deprecation isn’t racism or, once again, you’d have to charge Ben-Gurion, Joan Rivers and Israelis with much worse. It’s like men making a mildly disparaging comment about men but having the grace to think twice, at least, before saying unkind things about women. The former is not taken for destructive aggression and disarms tension. The latter merely inflames between-group tensions and mistrust.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 6, 2015, 7:30 pm

        I see it finally got up onto the WP comments, with a couple of responses.

        (And I agree that the racial discrimination against straw men should end.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 7, 2015, 9:54 pm

        “And I agree that the racial discrimination against straw men should end.”

        I agreeI They are not just a nuffin’, their heads, all full of stuffin’
        Their hearts are full of pain! They would dance and be merry, life would be a ding-a-derry, if they only had a brain.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 8, 2015, 12:58 am

        “Their hearts are full of pain! They would dance and be merry”

        Exactly. They are not lost, violent souls, even if their voices, when they whisper together, are quiet and meaningless as wind in dry grass, or rats’ feet over broken glass in our dry cellar. So we should end discrimination against them, and do it now, before the whimper of the world’s end.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 8, 2015, 5:12 am

        “So we should end discrimination against them, and do it now, before the whimper of the world’s end.”

        Just call me margeret Hamilton: “Hows about a little fire Scarecrow!”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 9, 2015, 6:27 pm

        “They are not lost, violent souls, even if their voices, when they whisper together…”

        Sounds dreary, pessimistic. I prefer optimistic voices.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 9, 2015, 9:27 pm

        “Sounds dreary, pessimistic”

        This is just the sort of discrimination we must stop. Straw men have just as much right to be dreary, pessimistic, and hollow as anyone else.

        And vice versa.

  21. asherpat
    asherpat
    May 6, 2015, 5:21 pm

    Mr Weiss,

    reading your “response” to David Bernstein, I couldn’t get the expression “he reached the bottom and kept on digging” out of my head.

    Hatred does blind, and frankly, stupefies you Mr Weiss.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 6, 2015, 10:56 pm

      “reading your “response” to David Bernstein, I couldn’t get the expression “he reached the bottom and kept on digging” out of my head.”

      Yup, Bernstein sure did, and I’m glad you see it, “ashypat”

      • asherpat
        asherpat
        May 7, 2015, 2:16 am

        @Mooser, (pls note that I don’t try to mock your alias), have you read Bernstein’s article? Where exactly, Bernstein says anything other than a level headed analysis? You may feel the hatred of Israel and any successful Judeo-Christian civilization burning in your guts but it does seem to blind you (intellectually, that is), same as it does to Mr Weiss.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 7, 2015, 9:37 pm

        “(pls note that I don’t try to mock your alias),”

        God bless you, “ashipppat” (nice Yiddish pun, huh?)! Thank you. How could I have ever harbored any negative thoughts about somebody so compassionate, somebody who always thinks of the other person’s feelings, no matter how badly their own were badly affronted!

        And it’s not an alias. My name is Derbig Mooser. As Bertie Wooster once observed: “There’s a lot of dirty-work pulled at the font, eh, Jeeves?”

        “hatred of Israel and any successful Judeo-Christian civilization”

        It didn’t work, “ashpat”! Ha-ha, it didn’t work. I wasn’t eating or drinking when I read that. ROTFLMSJAO! What happened to the “Jewish” State?

  22. Mooser
    Mooser
    May 6, 2015, 5:59 pm

    Landie_C, that was indeed a very good answer to Bernstein. but it is very probable Bernstein has entered the amnesia phase of the Ziocaine Syndrome episode by now, and doesn’t remember anything he said.

  23. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    May 9, 2015, 12:05 am

    The essence of the original post seemed to be: the problem with Israel is not nationalism nor colonialism but something wrong with those sneaky Jews. Tell me what I’m missing.

  24. Mooser
    Mooser
    May 9, 2015, 5:58 pm

    “Tell me what I’m missing.”

    Your mind.
    But I know one thing you are not missing, Yonah. Namely, the time it took to read the article, and this one, too. You’ll always have that. Use it well.

    “something wrong with those sneaky Jews.”

    And why are you calling people “sneaky Jews” Yonah? The word “sneaky” appears nowhere in the article or comments. Do you think Jews are (your word) “sneaky”, Yonah? You seem to be worried about it.

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